Talent attraction – A beginner’s guide


The money I had have made for every dull job description posted on LinkedIn by a Talent Acquisition ‘Specialist’ last week. Or the the churn of self-promotional posts painting a vanilla backdrop.

Of course, while this “if I had a dollar” idiom will never get me to the lofty heights of a millionaire – or a LinkedIn influencer – it does expose a problem.

One that all TA specialists should pick up on with relative ease.

Boring content and copied/pasted job descriptions do nothing to align with the “attracting and hiring exceptional Talent” strapline so many companies are keen to market. 

But we don’t have a problem attracting people

Maybe you don’t. McKinsey say otherwise. They’ve reported that 82 percent of organisations aren’t attracting and hiring highly-talented people.

It is still the number one priority for CEOs. Employers still believe the war for Talent exists. So why do only 18 percent of employers believe they are getting it right?

This merry-go-round of repetition is set to continue for some time.

Because attracting talented people is no easy task.

You see, to attract people you have to appear attractive. To appear attractive, you have to be able to stand out and quickly develop trust. And to do all of that, you have to be able to cut through the average human attention span.

Which now rests at a staggering 8.25 seconds. (*USNC for Biotechnology)

That is only the start.

Once you have got someone’s attention and trust, you have to develop a relationship with them and keep them engaged in that relationship.

You know where I’m heading with this. Influencing and persuading people is part sales, part marketing. The hallmarks of Talent attraction.

But job ads still work, right?

They do. When they are ads.

An ad initially does two things. It gets your attention and connects with you – or it doesn’t.

If it does, it may continue to engage you over the time it takes you to read through it. You may need more convincing, so you will probably want to dive deeper and request more info.

Now look at the jobs posted across Seek, LinkedIn and other job sites. Spot something? They are mostly job descriptions, not job ads.

This next sentence may surprise you. Job ads and job descriptions are not the same thing.

Boring job descriptions don’t attract talented people.

Ok, so where’s this guide?

That is the small talk done. You are probably figuring out why more than four in five companies have a problem attracting and hiring great people.

If you want to attract the right people to your company, you will have to can the JDs. Throw the self-promotional, ‘me too’ marketing. Kill the vanilla.

You are going to have to make your content and ads talk to the people you want to attract. You will want to make it stand out. Indifference will never be your friend.

One day, it will all make sense. For now, this guide will give you some ideas on how to attract people. It is a basic guide, so don’t expect a magic bullet. There will be a second guide on making the connection between why people buy and recruitment marketing soon.

One final thing. Please steal some of the ideas in this guide. Please.

If you throw one or two ideas into your Talent attraction strategy, I guarantee you will start seeing different results.

And if you don’t? I guess you are going to have to drop me a line.

Thanks for reading.


Cover image: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on LinkedIn on 5 November 2019.

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